Pioneers Open Season Saturday Night at Marist
SACRED HEART (0-0) at MARIST (0-0)
Game 01* Poughkeepsie, NY* 6 PM* Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field*
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers travel to take on the Marist Red Foxes at Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday night. SHU and Marist both look to start 2013 with a victory after posting sub .500 records last year. The Red Foxes finished last season 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Pioneer League. Sacred Heart dropped their final five games of last season to finish a dismal 2-9. Head Coach Mark Nofri is coming into his second season at the helm of SHU football after coaching last season as the interim head coach. Sophomore quarterback RJ Noel will be making his first collegiate start for the Pioneers. The Red Foxes return senior standout quarterback Chuckie Looney who threw a program record 18 touchdowns last season, while accumulating over 2,300 passing yards. Looney's 2012 passer rating of 156.4 placed him 7th in the FCS.
Series History... Saturday marks the 11th meeting between SHU and the Red Foxes.
- Sacred Heart and Marist have split the previous ten meetings
- In their last meeting in 2011, Marist defeated SHU, 20-7, at Campus Field.
- Sacred Heart's last win over Marist came in 2010, 28-25, at Tenney Stadium
SHU vs. the Pioneer League... The Pioneers are 2-1 all-time against the Pioneer League but have only played Marist from the conference. Marist joined the Pioneer League in 2009. Starting in 2014, the Pioneers will begin a two game home and home series against the Valparaiso Crusaders.
Pioneer Openers... Sacred Heart is 7-15 in season openers in their 22 seasons. The Pioneers are 6-9 in openers since joining the Northeast Conference in 1998. SHU is 4-7 when kicking-off the season on the road and 3-8 when starting the year in Fairfield. The Pioneers opened last season with a four-overtime loss, 30-27, at Morgan State. In each of the previous three seasons, SHU opened against Marist College.
The Head Coaches... The Pioneers will be led by second year head coach Mark Nofri in 2013. Beginning his 20th season as a member of the Pioneers coaching staff, Nofri is the longest tenured coach in Sacred Heart program history. The Pioneers were 2-9 last season with Nofri serving as the interim head coach. Nofri is also the long time linebackers coach for the Pioneers, turning out several All-Conference and All-American linebackers including Jayson Jarrett '01, Kayode Mayowa '02, Craig Capurso '02, Jon Corto '06 and Chris Mandas '11. Jim Parady begins his 22nd season as the Marist head football coach. While at Marist he has guided the Red Foxes to over 100 wins and is the winningest coach in program history. Under Parady, Marist has jumped from Division III to FCS, won three conference championships, and joined the Pioneer Football League in 2009. Parady earned his 100th career victory on September 3rd, 2011, a 20-7 victory of Sacred Heart.
Up Next... The Pioneers will travel to take on the Lafayette Leopards of the Patriot League next Saturday night. SHU and Lafayette have only met once, with Lafayette defeating the Pioneers, 25-14, on September 2nd, 2006.